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So why is the 2012 Ladera Cabernet—made from almost entirely from Howell Mountain fruit, from an incredible vintage—sitting pretty at $34.99? I honestly can't tell you. Maybe it's because no one knows how good the Ladera holdings in Howell Mountain are. Or maybe it's the pride that winemaker Jade Barrett takes in making a serious wine for a reasonable price. Or maybe it's because Ladera is an overlooked gem in a sea of Napa alternatives. For whatever the reason, I'm not going to complain. We tasted the 2012 vintage at our staff training yesterday and I was just floored by the quality of this wine. Dark, fleshy fruit cloaked in fine tannins, bits of earth, and in total balance, with enough gusto to go the long haul in your cellar. It's a whole lotta wine for $34.99, and it's made primarily from Howell Mountain grapes, harvested during a great vintage. 

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« Too Cool (Or Hot) For School | Main | National Tequila Day at Tres Agaves »
Wednesday
Aug042010

Secret Recipes: Tres Agaves Margaritas and more

Photo from Loose Record (CC)Most mixologists guard their margarita recipe like an Italian grandma guards her pasta sauce recipe, so it was a rare treat to get some tips from the pros at Tres Agaves during July’s National Tequila Day celebration. Here, like at my other favorite tequila haunt in Alameda, La Piñata, they employ a purist approach to the making of the most famous tequila cocktail:

First, you take a pint glass. Add tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice, agave nectar and two scoops of ice, then shake until your fingers go numb and strain on the rocks. There’s no filler to this cocktail— no Cointreau, no Triple Sec, no Grand Marnier. It is the pure expression of agave, as a spirit and a sweetener, with fresh lime juice to lift the earthy, heady flavors. The first time we made our margaritas with Arêtte Blanco. It was a fresh, pure and clean drink. For round two, I made my margarita with the Siete Leguas Reposado. I really enjoyed the extra richness and complexity that this tequila gave to the cocktail.

 

Recipes:

Tres Agaves Style Margarita

2 ounces tequila (blanco or reposado, depending on your mood)

1 ounce agave nectar

1-ounce fresh squeezed lime juice

To a pint glass add tequila, lime juice, agave nectar and two scoops of ice. Shake until your fingers go numb. Serve strained, on the rocks.

 

If you’re looking for something a little tangier, try another of my favorites, the Paloma.

Paloma 

Classic: In a high ball glass with a salted rim and ice, add 2 oz of a blanco tequila, a squeeze of lime and top with Jarritos grapefruit soda. Garnish with a lime wedge

Fancy: In a pint glass, add 2 oz of blanco tequila, 1/2 oz of St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, 1 oz Cointreau, a dash of Bitterman's Grapefruit Bitters, 3-4 oz of ruby red grapefruit juice and two scoops of ice. Shake until your fingers go numb. Strain into an ice filled highball glass and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Low rent version: In a tall glass with a salted rim and ice, add 2 oz of blanco tequila and a squeeze of lime juice. Top with Fresca and garnish with whatever you want!


If you’ve had too much tequila, here’s a little hair of the dog to cure what ails you.    

Penicilina

2 ounces tequila (blanco or reposado, depending on your mood)

¾ oz fresh limejuice

½ oz agave nectar

3-4 thick slices fresh ginger

¼ oz mezcal or fragrant tequila, for float

Place ginger in a shaker or mixing glass and muddle into a paste. Add tequila, lime, agave nectar and ice and shake until your fingers go numb. Double-strain through fine-mesh strainer into chilled cocktail glass—ideally something pretty with a stem. Float the mezcal on top of drink using a bar spoon.

Anne Pickett

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Reader Comments (1)

I like collecting various kinds of recipes. Your recipes seems delicious.......have a chance to test it.
January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRecipes

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